Never again… These are the words I have said so many times to myself. Over ten years out, and I am still not free. Divorce is the gift that keeps on giving. Days can pass peacefully and quietly, then a common date, or a memory, or the birthday of a child can bring it all around back to you. You were married, now you are not.
I am writing this at a particularly heavy time in my story; my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is just around the corner. Along with the joy and the planning, comes the ever flowing reminders of why I say these words again… Never again.
Every disagreement is a chance to relive all the reasons we divorced in the first place. Nothing I have done, or accomplished gives me the strength to creep out from under his thumb. As I’ve cried about his choices, and his desire to push his new wife into the spotlight, I have fought to retain the importance of my own role in the life of my children. My opinions, seemingly valid in her life seem no longer valid to him, so I have retreated and I am left to deal with “picking my battles”. My daughter offers to speak up, but I remind her that I am a big girl, and can handle my feelings. Those who matter know the truth. I am her mother; she is not. The person who pays gets to make the choices. Over and over again, I am reminded of why we divorced. It plays out before my eyes for every event that requires us to work together. It also reminds me why I will never do this again. As lonely as I am, I will never remarry.
I have my list of reasons why I “might” think about remarriage, but it always comes down to the following: Marriage of any type is an opportunity to give up control.
I tried. I did briefly remarry, but it underlines the most important of reasons on my list of reasons why I will never do it again. The second time ended badly, with my eldest son throwing his sad belongings on the lawn. Having children old enough to witness cruelty is an added bonus of the second marriage. I have spent many sleepless nights thankful that my protective oldest son wasn’t there to see him smack me across the face. The nightmare of my dreamless state ends with my son being arrested. Thankfully, the real story ended with my son’s anger safely directed at pitching his crap all over the lawn as I watched him crawl around the lawn picking them up as my son muttered just loud enough that real men don’t hit women.
As I live life post divorces, my life experiences validate my personal list of reasons why I never plan to marry again. Your own experiences may vary, but here goes. This is my top 5 list of reasons of why I will never marry again. Each one begins the same way: Do not remarry to save yourself from:
2. a lack of sex
3. to be rescued from financial fears
4. to avoid being the only parent in the home
5. to avoid being the third wheel.
Youth and hope once walked hand in hand. As a member of the “been there, done that” age, there is nothing on the list that I cannot have on my own. There is nothing on that list that requires a marriage license to obtain. Each does, however, require a surrender of control and a sharing of trust and I am just no longer sure that I am willing to surrender my long fought for independence.
Divorce can make you feel lonely. It can be a feeling that rekindles itself day after day, but I am a really strong believer in trying to not make the same mistakes again. Be very careful who you allow to sit in that empty chair. Marriage changes things. It comes with demands, but offers no guarantees. The implied promises you once heard when sharing all your time together in hopeful vision does not guarantee that your needs will be met whether you say the vows once or many times. Marriage unfortunately comes with no promise that you will have a faithful partner, or a loving one.
I made those mistakes… I remarried to protect my family from my own fears of failures. I can never earn enough… Wouldn’t it be nice to have another man in the house, so I don’t have to parent alone? The sex was horrible, and I felt more lonely than before. I learned that I was angry at myself for not believing in what I could do, if only I had given myself the chance. Instead, I retreated to a place of fear.
So, whatever your own list is, proceed with caution. A second marriage is not for the weak of heart. In my humble opinion, tread lightly, and only venture into that marriage if it offers you something that you can have in no other way. In my cost-benefit analysis, the risks are simply too great.